"And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also."
I cannot count the number of times I have been in church on a Sunday morning. Although every church service is important, I most look forward to Sunday morning service. I enjoy the singing of the hymns, the scripture reading, the choir singing, and the preaching that is the finale of it all. The service is typically the longest service of the week, and I look forward to the Word that will be preached. I try to get a good night's rest the night before so I did not fall asleep during the service. I do not sit in a balcony, so I am not worried about falling out, but I know I will miss out on the preaching of the word if I am sleeping. I know a hearty “amen” is encouraging to the preacher, and I’m sure a gapped mouth that is snoring must be quite discouraging.
Although I look forward to going to church now, I cannot say that I always felt that way. I did not have much choice about it when I younger, and when I got to be a young adult, the rule of the house was that you had to be in church when the doors were open. The rule was not up for debate and quite honestly, it was not discussed at all. My sister and I knew the rules, and we complied without question or griping. I did not even think about worship in those days, and I was just hoping to stay awake and get out of church earlier than usual. My thoughts strayed to the 18-piece bucket of fried chicken that we would get after service. My mind was on that deliciousness as I struggled to follow along with the scripture references the preacher was calling out. I was not doing right, I was not looking to be convicted, and I certainly was not there to worship.
Worship is the act of paying divine honor and reverence to our Heavenly Father. It is coming to pay reverence and homage to Him with our prayer, thanksgiving, and the hearing of His Word. It is a focus on Him and not a focus on our favorite sports team or an 18-piece bucket of chicken. Our focus as we walk into church should be to worship our Father and fellowship with other believers. There is no shortage of reasons we have to pay honor to the One who has given us all things, and we should diligently seek to worship Him just as the Maji did.
Herod did not desire to worship the baby Jesus, but he had his own motives and purposes. He saw the baby Jesus as a threat to his own throne, and he ultimately desired to take the young Jesus' life. We may look at Herod's motives and shake our head in disgust, but our motives are sometimes no better. We may go to church for a myriad of reasons, but not the reasons we should. We attend out of obligation, guilt, or sometimes because we feel forced to do so. We come to be seen, or so others don't ask where we’ve been, without caring what God thinks of our motives. Our motives are sometimes questionable at best, and we miss out on our opportunity to come and worship our King.
Where are you today friend? Do you diligently seek to worship the One who is worthy of our worship? Do you go to church for all the wrong reasons, or do you come to truly worship the Lord? Do you look down on Herod for his motives while you sleep through the preaching message? May we prepare our heart to worship the Kings of Kings, and may we not be guilty of false worship.
Stay in the fight!